Journalist Mark Dice conducted his 6th annual 4th of July man-on-the-street interviews in San Diego, California. He asked willing passersby what Independence Day was all about. Independence from whom? From what country? He also asked people to name some of their favorite Founding Fathers.
Would it surprise you to learn that most of these people he questioned had no idea that the 4th of July was any more than just a day that we set off fireworks?
Dice asked one blonde beach-goer: “When Jesse Ventura, John Wilkes Booth, and the other Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, what year was that?”
“1970 – sorry – 1870-something, but I don’t remember the specific year,” she replied, seemingly unfazed by Dice calling Jesse Ventura (the pro-wrestler-turned-governor) and John Wilkes Booth (Lincoln’s assassin) “Founding Fathers.”
He asked a middle-aged man to name two of the Founding Fathers. He replied, “Oh, you had to start there.” Another man suggested Washington. The clueless guy being questioned by Dice could only think of “George and Lincoln.” Dice told him half-jokingly, “We’re going to have to deport you. You don’t deserve to be an American.”
As for when the Declaration of Independence was signed, people either didn’t have a clue to the point that they thought it must be a joke of a question – because who in the world would know that kind of trivia? – or some time in the 1800’s.
He asked another man, “The 4th of July weekend, we celebrate the Civil War victory – the North over the South – the freeing of the slaves. What are you going to be doing to commemorate that?”
The man responded that he would be spending time with his family and enjoying the San Diego sun and surf, and didn’t correct Dice’s statement that the 4th had to do with the Civil War. It’s very likely that he just didn’t know what Independence Day was all about.
In fact, when asked when the Declaration of Independence was signed, he told Dice with a laugh, “That, my friend, has been a long time for me.”
Dice asked a passerby who his favorite Founding Father was. He wasn’t able to respond, asking instead, “Who are my choices?” When Dice continued to press him for an answer, he said, “Jesse Ventura.”
Another in the same group of guys had an answer: “Jeremiah.” Maybe he was referring to the major prophet in the Old Testament? I have no idea. You’ve got to see it to believe it:
Remember, these people vote. Sometimes more than once.
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